Make the time to do what you love by thinking like this

Sometimes we can think that we don’t have the time to pursue what we’ve always wanted to do.

But, you do. You always do.

Do you know why? Because following our dream is a choice.

You can choose to reprioritize your time, what you do with it, how you fill it.

Stop saying yes to all of the crap that people ask you to do and tell them that you’re committed to something else.

Ok, maybe you have a job and need to eat or feed your family. I get that. But, you’re not at your job all the time.

You can carve out thirty, twenty, ten minutes a day to write that book, start that business, build that thing.

It’s true; you know it’s true. Time isn’t the issue. You are.

Regret is for the birds. So decide to follow your dream right now. Do it.

Commit.

You will love yourself for it.

Go.

The worst thing that happens to you often can lead to the best results

Sometimes the worst things that happen to us are the best opportunities. They are the gateways to greatness.

Giving up is always an option. Or, you can fight and find a way through the difficulty.

The former will lead to the status quo or worse. The latter can irrevocably change your life for the better.

When I got fired from the only job I was qualified for, my first position out of graduate school, I wanted to slink away and die. I was trained to be a pastor of a church. Then, I was terminated. But, oddly enough, that helped me to become an entrepreneur.

What about you? Have you been beaten down, hurt, unjustly treated, fired? Maybe you’re tempted to give up. I get it.

But you don’t have to. You can take one step at a time, day after day, facing your fears and uncertainty, moving forward and upward.

But it all starts with not giving up and fighting.

Ghengis Khan’s (affiliate) life changed irrevocably when a rival tribe kidnapped his wife. Instead of letting her go and finding a new wife (what most men in his culture and time did, especially at his level, insignificant and impoverished), he did the unthinkable. He raised a fighting party and battled to win her back. He won.

And that decision was one of the most significant steps that helped him build the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

You may not want to be an emperor, but you want to win. You want to overcome your challenges.

The best place to start is here.

Don’t give up. Then, fight.

You can.

Rise.

You’re worthier than you know

“You don’t belong here,” or “These people are better than you,” are words that can creep into our minds. But they shouldn’t.

There are times in our lives and careers when we feel like imposters, sneaking into a room full of “worthier” people than ourselves, wondering how we got here.

But you’re not an imposter!

The fact is is that most of those people whom you are thinking are so worthy are probably thinking and feeling the same way you are—unworthy.

But that’s the wrong mindset. Focusing on that isn’t worth your time. Instead, focus on how to achieve a goal, fulfill your duty, grow in your work. The more you do that, the more you will feel like you belong.

Ironically, the less you think about your worth and create value, the more worthy you become.

And, more than that, you are worthy because you have inherent worth.

You’re human.

Accomplish more by thinking like this

“You need to be more ‘realistic'” is a phrase that we hear. We say it to ourselves. But that is shaping our mindset, and it’s stifling you.

Mediocrity is borne on such words. That’s how the status quo is preserved, and growth is hindered.

You won’t push beyond your limits by thinking realistically.

Dreams are rarely “realistic.” They are outlandish, laughable, silly, stupid even.

But those who’ve reached unimaginable heights, the dreamers, were not “realistic.”

If they were, they would have never accomplished what they did.

So don’t be “realistic.” That’s not how you realize dreams.

Be silly. Be stupid. Be unrealistic.

Dream.

You need to know this about failure to succeed

img_4447Failing isn’t just failure. It’s a sign that you are trying, attempting—alive.

When you fail, it doesn’t mean you’re silly or a loser or even a failure. No. It says you tried doing something outside of your comfort zone. It means you’re an explorer, adventurer, believer. You’re courageous.

You know that life isn’t just about living or staying alive. It’s about feeling alive, pushing yourself beyond your limits, growing.

Failure is just a part of the growth process. So don’t quit because you made a mistake, faltered, or failed miserably.

Get back up and see that this is the path you trod to gain great things, a greater you.

Doing that, you can’t help but succeed.

This is the way you can succeed

Failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

That’s a definition that is determined by you, not by your failures, mistakes, or even others.

You make that decision every day by choosing what you do with your time, energy, talent.

Get up and decide to learn from your failures and continue marching forward, trying this and that to see what will work.

Work on that thing you believe in, even if everyone else is laughing at you because you’re not alone.

Every successful person experienced failure. It’s an essential element of success. Failing is a part of the process.

So choose to move forward despite your fears.

For, there is no success without failing.


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That’s my thank you face

Remember, you don’t improve without improving your thinking.

You don’t have to be a billionaire to feel rich.

You don’t have to be popular to feel loved.

You don’t have to get awards to feel successful.

Success starts in between your ears. And it’s not just about what you think. It’s about how you think.

It’s not just about thinking better thoughts. It’s about thinking thoughts better.

That’s why I write.

This book will blow your mind

If you haven’t read Range, by David Epstein (affiliate), you need to. It will change the way you think about thinking.

Most of the world holds the notion that experts are what we need, people who are hyper specialized. Ten thousand hours are what it takes to succeed, is the belief (it’s what I believed). They are the authorities; they are the ones who will change the world, cure cancer, untangle the perplexing complexities of the universe, push us into the future. But that often isn’t true. 

Range delves into that. It is an amazing exploration and explanation of how you can become great at something, and it’s surprising. 

The anecdotes he uses are compelling. Some of the most accomplished people in the world became great in unexpected ways. They started their craft, sport, education, much later than you think was possible to rise to the level they did. They will inspire you.

For those of you who are in midlife like me, life isn’t over. Some have recreated themselves, learned a musical instrument well enough to play professionally, started high growth businesses, lived a whole new life later in life. It’s possible. It’s in the book. 

When I read it, I felt like I had new life breathed into me, allowing me to see my potential, abilities, and future anew. It gave me hope. 

You see, I’ve had a windy and strange career. I hopped and bopped around: ministry, data-entry, banking, business, entrepreneur, creative strategist are the positions I’ve held. Now I blog, too. Yes, strange, I know. 

And I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that I was insufficient because I was the farthest thing from a specialist. If I had ten thousand hours in anything, it was changing course, which I believed couldn’t be valuable. 

But Epstein helped me see that I was wrong. He made me realize that my disparate experiences are a virtue, not a vice. 

They are what help me add value because I can borrow from one experience and provide a fresh view in a completely different area. That’s what has helped me survive, even thrive. It’s what helps me ideate for my clients, start a business, think. 

However, Range isn’t just for generalists. If you are a specialist who wants to find new, fresh ways of thinking, read this book. 

Or if you are a person who wants to make a change or has changed a lot and wonder what good you can create in the world, Range will open your eyes. 

Parents, if you’re wondering how to help your children succeed, this is incredibly insightful. It’s helping me reframe how I deal with my kids. 

If nothing else, this book (affiliate) will stretch the way you think. 

It will give you range.

The one thing you need to make more of to grow: mistakes

Perfectionism doesn’t help us progress; mistakes do. 

With the right mindset, they push us forward. We need to know that succeeding isn’t neat and tidy; it’s sloppy and messy. It’s mistake-ridden. 

When you make a mistake, it lays the groundwork for improvement. Every failure is an attempt to do something. And in those attempts, you experience this and that. You test a hypothesis; you discover. You see what works and what doesn’t work, and you can understand something new about yourself. 

Sure, making a mistake is painful, and it’s tempting to want to ignore the failure, avoid it. But that would be a waste. That would be a bigger mistake than the mistake you’re trying to forget. 

Mistakes are a goldmine for growth and learning. But you can’t learn and grow from them if you ignore them. 

If Steve Jobs didn’t get fired from Apple, he wouldn’t have learned what he needed to learn to come back and become its successful CEO. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, said that he’s made billions of dollars of failures. And without those costly mistakes, his company wouldn’t have grown, making him the wealthiest person in the world. 

One of my biggest mistakes was taking on some wrong business partners. I was the one who pushed for partnering and got it. In the end, it got me. And it almost broke me. 

But as I healed and recovered, I changed. I got stronger, smarter. And I am much more careful when it comes to partnerships. I learned. 

And this blog post is a product of my mistake. If I would have never failed at those partnerships, I don’t think I would have ever tried blogging. I grew. 

You see, we are mistaken about mistakes.

They hurt like hell at the moment, but they are blessings. If you understand them aright and try to learn from them, things won’t just get back to normal; they often get better. 

So make more mistakes. Take risks. Try new things. Put yourself out there. Learn.

And you will find that a mistake can become a marvel.

Sometimes rest is the best thing for your work

We want to succeed, improve our work, write better. So we grind away, working more, harder, believing that’s what we should do. 

But that’s wrong. 

Yes, we need to work hard. And yes, that often equates to long hours, dogged days, grinding away. 

Yet, there are times when no matter how many hours you put in, hard work just doesn’t work. In fact, working harder works against you. 

When the ideas stop flowing, solutions don’t arise, or words stop prancing from your fingers, that’s a good indicator that you need to do something different, drastically different. 

That’s when the best thing you can do is this. Stop. Walk away. Rest. Roll your chair back and take a walk around the block, maybe even go for a hike. 

Sometimes even that’s not enough. You need to unplug. Get out of your phone, out of the state, out of the country, for days, weeks. You need to get lost. 

You need rest. 

Resting can be the best thing for your work. It’s where you can recharge your energy cells, your brain, your heart, your soul. 

When you’re lost, read a book, a novel, something entertaining, something that makes you laugh. Paint a landscape painting, journal in your Moleskin, drink good wine. Do anything else but work. 

And you will feel yourself being restored; the space to recuperate will leave you refreshed. You will be renewed. You’ll feel the energy to work return.

When you get back to your desk, you will find that the ideas will flow afresh, solutions will come anew, and words will dance from your fingers again. 

As a result, your work will be better. 

Great work comes with good rest.